Glenn Greenwald had a sharp response to Matt Lauer's question about Edward Snowden and Russia during an appearance on Monday's "Today."
Greenwald was on the show—and, incidentally, back in the United States after his dramatic return to the country last month—to promote his new book about the Snowden saga and his role in it, "No Place To Hide."
The chat between Greenwald and Lauer was mostly amiable. Greenwald recounted how he felt during the days when his stories about the NSA and Snowden first broke.
"We all knew that this was going to be one of the most significant things we ever did in our lives, if not the most significant," he said. "You know there are all kinds of risks."
The most pointed exchange, however, came when Lauer asked how Snowden could "square" his values with the values espoused by Vladimir Putin, who has granted him temporary asylum in Russia.
"He didn't choose to be in Russia, Matt," Greenwald said, noting that the United States had revoked Snowden's passport while he was attempting to travel to Latin America. "The question is why do we put whistleblowers in jail?"
"There is still a question...there are people who just can't accept the idea that he hasn't turned something over to the Russians," Lauer said. He listed the kinds of documents Snowden had possessed.
"You're going to tell me Putin didn't ask for that?" he said.
"Anyone can make up any accusation that they want, and rational people demand evidence before they believe it, which is the lesson we ought to have learned from the claims from government that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," Greenwald shot back.